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Changing Semantics by Context

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An Engineer turned lawyer.Currently pursuing LL.M from IIT Kharagpur in Intellectual Property Law.

The recent incident related to Kangana Ranaut being subjected to threats by Shiv Sena leaders and forceful action through Mumbai’s local Government machinery over a statement she made about Mumbai and the mum/silence that followed from Bollywood industry, the liberals and feminists, makes one ponder and wonder at the same time “Why the silence?”

There can only be two possible answers to this:

  1. Intolerance, bigotry, fascism, chauvinism has been eradicated from the face of the country or rather from the face of the world, i.e the words and the symbolism behind them has ceased to exist, or
  2. The semantics of the words have changed.

Since, now and then there is shout and protest against the intolerance, fascist and oppressive environment created by the Central Government and the party in power, it seems improbable that the first scenario is true. Then the logical conclusion is that, the semantics of these words have changed. The just reason for the mum/silence by liberals and the torch bearers for tolerance in this country is that, we are unable to understand the change in semantics, when the context changes the meaning changes. To understand the mum, we need to understand the semantics of these words:

  1. Intolerance: lack of tolerance; unwillingness or refusal by certain group of people and political party or people with certain ideology, to tolerate or respect opinions or beliefs contrary to one’s own.
  2. Feminism: the advocacy of women’s rights, where the women don’t belong to certain ideology and are not outspoken about certain state of affairs, on the ground of the equality of the sexes.
  3. Chauvinism: excessive or prejudiced support by particular group of people and political affiliation for one’s own cause, group, or sex.
  4. Oppression: prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or exercise of authority by the people in power who are affiliated with certain political party or follow a certain ideology.
  5. Fascism: a governmental system led by a dictator or a person elected through democratic process but follows a particular ideology and affiliated to a certain party, having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

So, according to liberals and the only tolerant people of this country, the statement made by Hon’ble Sanjay Raut against Kangana Ranaut does not symbolise or demonstrate intolerance, chauvinism and oppression. All these words are to be used and only apply to the ruling party in Centre or in certain states and specially to people of a particular ideology; these people falling in the category of nationalists, bhakts and sanghis. The action taken by the BMC is highly justifiable and follows due process of law because fascism is contextual and the coalition government and party in power in Maharashtra and Mumbai can do no wrong.

The feminists see no cause of speaking up, because Kangna Ranaut has spoken about an issue for which women are not supposed to speak up. Hence, she does not qualify for feministic outcry and protection of women’s rights. People who are taunting the liberals and protectors of democracy to speak up and come in support for Kangana, do not understand the true meaning of the words “intolerance”, “fascism” etc. The use of these words and cries of feminism are only to be echoed and talked about when they fit a particular scenario, for a particular ruling party, or against people who fall into a particular category of people.

So, the public should learn the new semantics of these words, and stop asking liberals and Bollywood to speak up. The next time Mr. Sanjay Raut throws threat for not worshipping the Chief Minister or his party, or speaking against the way the Government functions; don’t worry, it is not intolerance or bigotry, it is his way of showing love for his party and its Head. When the BMC takes any action without notice, it is not fascism or oppression, it is quick and prompt action.

Remember, the meaning of a word changes with context, the liberals have used the semantics to change the context.

-Aditi Shirpurkar
Pursuing LL.M in Intellectual Property Law from IIT Kharagpur.

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An Engineer turned lawyer.Currently pursuing LL.M from IIT Kharagpur in Intellectual Property Law.
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